I lie on top of the blankets. The glow of the fading summer sunlight creates oceans of shadows as it dances through and around the blue bottles on the window sill.
The word repeats itself over and over, scratching like an old record in my head. I allow myself to acknowledge the feeling, noticing the way it sulks in the center of my body, taking up too much of my insides. Then I release it down my arms and legs. It rests in the tips of my fingers and at the front of my ankles. I notice the way my heart throbs, sending life to the parts of me that haven’t given up, and finds a scrap of hope: If I can feel pain I must still be alive.